Thursday, January 8, 2015

I am Charlie

For my American friends I want to explain what the magazine Charlie
Hebdo represents. That is where the heinous attack happened yesterday in Paris. Charlie Hebdo is a satirical magazine. They use humor as their tool, they are brave and have always defended freedom of expression whether in a cartoon, or as free speech which is the pillar of democracy. When the first cartoon was published by a Danish newspaper, remember the Prophet with a turban as a bomb, the editor in Chief of Charlie Hebdo immediately published the drawing as a gesture of solidarity. Free speech is important and the genius of this particular magazine is that they had four hugely talented, courageous and humorous cartoonists: Charb, the editor in chief, Cabu, Wolinski, Tignous, Maris who is a renowned left wing economist and also the several wonderful writers and the editor and the staff where extremely brave. They did not let anybody intimidate them. Twelve people lost their life. Eight people are in hospital. 35.000 people went to the Place de la Republique to stand in silence, peacefully, respectfully in a spontaneous gesture of solidarity, showing they are not intimidated. This morning the Belgian newspapers printed a lots of cartoons, since we too have a few sharp penned, smart cartoonists in solidarity with their colleagues in Paris. Tonight there is a silent memorial in Antwerp. I'll be there in the rain, so will be the President of Pen-Flanders...

Yes: We are Charlie, we defend freedom of expression. The pen is mightier than the sword. We all will show our pen. I am member of PEN-Flanders.

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